Drinking beer from a glass offers much more than a demonstration of good manners. But which glass to choose?
Using these different types of glasses also requires a different way of serving beer. Many bartenders will rinse or wet the glass when serving Belgian-style beers, to manage the head (so the beer’s not wasted by frothing over and down the side of the glass). Chilled beer glasses work deliciously well for lager styles, and for ales, the glass should be clean, dry and room temperature.
Behind the Beer Glass
Marketing is responsible for many a rational outcome going begging, and the design and introduction of many styles of beer glasses can be attributed to good old fashioned sales hype. But not all beer glasses are the result of a marketing gimmick, cheap production requirements or Government regulations.
British & Irish Glasses
The British (or Irish or Imperial) pint actually comes in a number of shapes although the volume contained (568mls) remains the same. Walk into a typical, everyday, garden variety pub in the UK and you’ll likely be served a pint in an imperial pint glass (a ‘conical’) which is slightly tapered from a narrower base to a wider mouth at the top.
Bavarian Beer Glasses
Germany, and Bavaria in particular, has a long heritage in beer production. Along with Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, there are a number of Germanic European beer glasses uniquely associated with the type of beer they’re designed to serve, and which have existed in their traditional format for centuries.
Best of the Rest
Let’s start with the ‘pilsner’. A good pilsner glass – not too dissimilar from a weizen or a conical pint glass – is tall and tapered, again allowing for a good head formation. Its design is also somewhat aesthetic, meant to accentuate the clarity and colour of the beer.